Wednesday, 13 July 2011

French lesson 1 part 2

On reflection the French don't just have variety between their meals, but also in their meals. Whereas us Brits are more inclined to make one big dish - say a lasagne or risotto, and then just eat one big serving of it, the French will have several courses within a meal.

Admittedly they won't serve the 5 to 6 courses I was presented with every day (appetizers, starter, main, salad course, cheese, dessert, dessert wine and chocolates!), however all meals will be made up of a few components.

For example breakfast might be some fruit to start, a slice of wholegrain toast with jam (always go for St Dalfour) or some muesli and a natural yoghurt along with a cup of tea or coffee (herbal to be healthy).

Lunch will start with some salad or vegetable soup, followed by meat or fish with another vegetable side dish and either a carbohydrate dish or some bread on the side and then a simple pudding of fruit or natural yoghurt. followed by coffee (have decaf or herbal tea instead)

Dinner, will follow the same formula as lunch, but including a cheese course and perhaps with a more sophisticated pudding either involving fruit (fruit tart is a favourite) or chocolate mousse or torte (the french cook with good quality chocolate rather than eating processed chocolate bars).

All sounds much more appealing than a big bowl of cereal, a sandwich lunch and a big bowl of pasta for dinner, but it's also better for you. Having this kind of structure increases variety, increases the amount of fruit and veg you're having but also will make you feel more satisfied - studies have shown that if you eat just one food in a meal you will eat more of it than if you eat a variety.

So as an addition to yesterdays lesson on variety between the days, it's also worth putting some thought into how to introduce variety within your meals - it may just mean adding an extra salad course, or some fruit and yoghurt to your breakfast. Make sure you reduce your portion sizes to compensate, but as usual our appetite should guide you on how much you eat and you may be surprised how much quicker you feel satisfied by having multiple courses.

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